Employers added 156,000 jobs in August and the economy requires 150,000 new jobs each month in order to continue expanding. Considering the economy is growing at a healthy rate, tax cuts and increased spending in 2017 may cause for inflation.
In August, both the unemployment rate, at 4.4 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at 7.1 million, were little changed from July. After a decline at the start of the year, the unemployment rate has remained at a consistent range from 4.3 or 4.4 percent since April. The labor-force participation rate- People who had a job or were looking for one—remained unchanged at 62.9 percent.
The U.S. economy added 36,000 jobs in manufacturing while construction increased by 28,000 and health care rose by 20,000. Employment in the professional and technical services industry has shown a gradual increase over the course of the year with 22,000 positions filled for the month of August. Mining industry has gained 7,000—employment in mining has risen by 10 percent since October 2016. Employment in other major industries, such as wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, showed little to no change over the course of the month.
In August, average hourly earnings rose by 3 cents, after rising by 9 cents in July. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 2.5 percent. In addition, the average hourly earnings of the private-sector productions and non-supervisory employees increased by 4 cents.
Keep in mind, Hurricane Harvey had no direct effect on the employment and unemployment data for the month of August. Household surveys data collection was completed before the storm. Establishment survey data collection for this new release was mostly completed prior to the storm, and collection rates were within normal ranges nationally and for the affected areas.